Young Haq revving to light up Kenyan racing post-coronavirus

Nikhil Sachania inside the modified car he used to compete at a past KCB Nakuru Rally.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Haq has been an active rally driver since 2016 when he debuted in the Kenya National Rally Championship round of the Voi/Wundanyi Rally finishing 17th.
  • He has competed in a Subaru N10 followed by R4 Subaru before switching to a Mitsubishi EvoX  to concentrate on the Group N and Division One races.

Twenty-eight years old Ammar Bushy Haq is looking forward to motor sports returning to normal following disruption of the coronavirus, which has literally destroyed ambitions of the rally drivers.

“Corona has dashed many dreams in rallying starting with the long awaited WRC Safari. My team and I had invested a lot of time and effort in preparation for the WRC event.

“I have been working on my driving, spending lots of cockpit time to improve my driving,. There’s always room for improvement and this has been the policy that has allowed me to go as far as winning the competitive Division One championship and just missing the Grp N championship by a whisker,’’ said Haq.

He added: “As we started the year in January, my step-dad lost his battle with cancer and that made the WRC an emotional event for me, as I was planning to give it my best to make my greatest fan, critic and mentor, that was my step-dad, proud.’’

Haq has been an active rally driver since 2016 when he debuted in the Kenya National Rally Championship round of the Voi/Wundanyi Rally finishing 17th.

He has competed in a Subaru N10 followed by R4 Subaru before switching to a Mitsubishi EvoX  to concentrate on the Group N and Division One races.

His results so far include 12th place in the Safari Rally at his first attempt. He has also notched up fifth place in the  Mombasa Rally.

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Kenya’s Nikhil Sachania is the first handicapped rally drivers to be supported by the FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission.

“The FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission have put in place a grant to support disabled drivers through new safety equipment. I am one of the first people to be selected for this grant. Their main objective is to make motorsports more accessible,” said Sachania.

Sachania, who is paralysed from the waist downwards after a quad accident in 2011 in Athi River, is the only handicapped driver in the Kenya National Rally Championship.  He drives a modified Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10.

The FIA grant consists of protective clothing, fire extinguisher systems and safety fuel tank. 

“I am now 31 years of age and last year I we won the SPV Championship (2 years in a row). Currently we are leading Div One and SPV Class and are sitting fourth in the overall KNRC championship,” added Sachania.

The FIA Disability and Accessibility Commission is offering support to disabled drivers through the no-cost supply of a range of safety equipment.

Available to disabled drivers who participate in at least five races per year sanctioned by their National Sporting Authority (ASN), the grant will make motor sport more accessible without compromising safety.

Did you know that...

A locally manufactured Datsun 1200 pick-up won the 1981 Himalayan Rally in India? Kenyan drivers, Ramesh Khoda and Arshad Khan achieved the historic feat for both the car makers and the country.